So, I've always known and more often than not, taken for granted. I prayed in church, then stopped going to church. Started up at a new one, and quit three years later. In between I just lived my life kind of like how I wanted. Felt quilt often, but excused it away.
Something happened when Fred died. He and I had talked about how we never should have met. It was impossible for us to meet and yet we did and fell in love with each other that first day. After months talking about it and all the coincidences that had to happen for us to meet, the only conclusion we could come to was that God had to have maneuvered us into place. It was like we already knew each other that first day we met. We wondered where we had met before, because both of us felt we knew the other one.
Sure we had so much in common it was spooky, but there was a real feeling that the first time we saw each other, we were meeting an old friend we had known when we were kids. Both of us looked kind of quizzically at each other. Eyebrows squinted--trying to remember the last time we saw each other.
Well, when he died, his doctor, two of the nurses coming out of his room crying and I knew he was gone, I had the oddest feeling of --I wouldn't say happiness, but a calmness. It was well with my soul--as the song goes.
On the drive home, I kept wondering why I wasn't crying--I guessed I was in a state of shock. Over the next few days and weeks, I realized, I wasn't in shock at all. People coming up to me with pity etched on their face and there I stood, smiling.
Then one day it hit me. I was so grateful for having had Fred in my life, the only man that really loved me, warts and all, the I just couldn't grieve that those days were over and that he was gone. We knew when we met, we would feel very lucky to have a decade together. I was so grateful that we had 7 years. Yes, I was lonely, but I never cried one tear when Fred died.
I just kept mumbling to myself, "Thank you, God, thank you so much!"
Then the hard years came--financially. A new roof. A new furnace, all within six months after his death. Trying to live on half the money we had while living together. All I knew to do, was pray. For some unexplainable reason, those things were taken care of. I started seeing all sorts of things that I couldn't handle, being taken care of in one manner or another.
Opportunities that I knew nothing about came along. Someone told me about a Food Bank. Someone mentioned in passing, that I ought to check on getting Food Stamps. Another someone suggested that I try to get an energy credit on my electricity bill.
These last two years have been amazing to me. I have had more blessings than I can even count. A new refrigerator, I hadn't thought of needing, a call out of the blue.
Someone heard that I liked to do genealogies for people and clients started contacting me to do theirs. That helped to bring in some money to help with monthly bills and last year I even had enough to get my living room painted and new carpet and a new chair and couch. Come to find out, everyone I did a genealogy for was elated with my work and told others. I find this amazing! After all these years, I have found something that I am really good at!
So, along these last five years, I find myself talking to God a lot. First thing in the morning and last thing at night and all during the day. Just simple talk like, "Can you believe that idiot, God?", when a driver nearly takes me out. "God, thank you for this beautiful day." Mostly thank you words.
Always plagued by deep depressions, panic attacks and anxiety, a year ago, I suddenly realized that--it's gone. Sure, I still get sad about things, but it doesn't last.
Terrified my whole life by thunder and winds storms, I don't even pay attention anymore. I now say, "Take care of me, God," and go on about my day, go to bed and sleep with no worry.
Friday, I put the new shower head on, which appeared at first to be a complicated matter, with no problem, "Thank you, God."
Being stuck in a genealogy, not being able to find the next generation "up" in any search engine and then, two days later I suddenly see an obscure census and there's the parent's names listed. "Thank you, God."
I have just really learned that I can't control much, so I reply on God to take care of matters in my life. I have found true peace and contentment. It's a mystery to me how this all happened.
All this is leading to my "pitified" state of mind when I found out, on my birthday, that all my kids were going up north, including Jennifer AND HER KIDS!!
Oh, I wanted to see those grandkids! I have missed them so much in the last 18 months. It looked like that wasn't going to happen. Jen's family was coming back Friday night, they had a Saturday wedding and then they were leaving very early Sunday.
I was getting myself all worked up, over something I had no control over. I'd laid in bed Monday night, tears rolling out of my eyes, down my face and into my ears.
I started praying. Just a simple prayer of thankfulness and then, pleading for God to somehow make it possible for me to see the kids.
Every morning and night, during the day. Every time I'd think about those kids, I'd pray.
Finally, Friday night, when they hadn't dropped in on their way to Karen's, I figured that was it. Nothing to do, but accept it. Saturday morning I woke up feeling the same way. Content with it all. It is as it is, right?
At 10:30, Saturday morning my phone rang. Just another scammer call, I figured, but I looked at the caller I.D., it was Karen.
I picked up, "Hi Baby! You ARE alive."
"Yeah, and so are you!."
"Did you have a great trip to Alaska? Did you kids have fun this week?"
"Oh Mom, it all was wonderful. I'll tell you all about it later. I wanted to know if you want to come down. Eric, Jen and the kids are here, if you wanna drive down to see them."
Silence on my part.
" Yes, yes! I gotta jump in the shower and then I'll be right down."
"Okay, see ya later."
I was stunned. I sat here in my computer chair and just looked out the window. My hands were shaking. Then it hit me.
I jumped up and nearly ran over Maggie the Cat as I headed for the bathroom, yelling all the way, "THANK YOU, GOD! THANK YOU, GOD! THANK YOU, GOD!" Both cats ran under the bed to hide.
When I got to Karen's and walked into the kitchen, there they were! Jennifer came up to me first. I even got a hug from her husband, who has not spoken to me in 4 years. When the kids heard my voice, they came from all over the house, into the kitchen for hugs. It was almost overwhelming.
There is this "thing" with all my grandchildren. They wonder, when they are small, if they will ever grow as tall as grandma. When photos are taken, I stand behind them so we can "measure" their height. 3 of Karen's 5 have made it.
Now, Andrew has made it too! He looked "down" on me and said, "I'm taller!" I have no idea what is going on with 15 year old Andrew and his hair. He said he wanted to see how long it would grow over the summer. I asked him if he was going to wear it in a "man bun" and he said, "No way!"
Elise just turned 13 and nearly as tall as me. She loves to play Volleyball. She has my long, skinny legs so I have no doubt, the next time I see her, she will be looking at me eye-to-eye.
Alex is 10 and is the sweetest, most polite 10 year old boy I have ever known. He has the long, skinny leg feature inherited from his Grandma. I have no doubt in half a dozen years, he will be looking "down" at me too. He spent most of the day playing with baby Della. He just adores her and she him.
Jennifer and Karen
Later last evening, I got a call from Pam. Evan had spent a couple of days with her on the farm and she wondered if I would like them to stop in when she took him back to Karen's. The perfect ending to a perfect weekend!
Evan is 5 and very shy. We could not get him to take a picture with me. He kept hanging onto and hiding behind Pammie. Of course, he was 3 when they moved and although he had spent a lot of time with me when he was a baby, he hardly knows who I am. He looks just like Andrew did at that age.
Now, they are on their way back to New Jersey and I am one happy, contented Mimi !!!
I suppose some would call my experience a "lovely coincidence", or "good Karma", something like that. Why didn't it happen before? They have been in Michigan a couple times in the last 18 months. I was never invited to see them. Why now?
Well.....I know why. It was God. I am so grateful!